A lot can happen in 7 years. You could meet a woman, call her your girlfriend for a while, then fiancee, then wife and then mother of your child. You could move from LA to Pittsburgh to and then to Pasadena, with a brief sojourn into Buffalo. Or you could, you know, start a meat-centric food blog and keep it going for as long as Brad Pitt spent in Tibet.
The Jewish influence on Montreal’s food scene goes beyond the bagels and into the realms of meat. Specifically smoked meat and there is no better-known place to get the smoked meat than at Schwartz’s, which has been making the stuff since 1928. Today Celine Dion weirdly has some sort of ownership in the place, but I went hoping this had little to do with the popularity.
The Madrid airport sucks. There. I said it. It does have a cool rainbow spanning the entire building, but otherwise it has nothing going for it. Or at least that’s what I thought when I first rolled through the place. But when I came back again for another layover, I found Deli & Cia, which gave me a reason to not completely write off the place.
At first glance, Lucifer’s Pizza seems like a sort of one-trick pony. Their schtick is having multiple heat levels for their sauces, hence the name. They don’t wood-fire their pizza and like most local pizza places claim to have fresh ingredients. Yet, upon visiting Lucifer’s on Melrose for the first time, I found they were more than just a pizza place with spicy sauce.
Just a couple of weeks ago, a new pizza place opened in Culver City called Wildcraft. Their schtick is the use of sourdough in their pizzas, which is cool with me, but I’m not sure if it entirely qualifies as being wild. Nonetheless, I was eager to try it out and see just how wild and crafty it would be.
Tar & Roses doesn’t exactly sound like a restaurant name. Rather, this restaurant in Santa Monica sounds like a bad indie movie or an alternative to being tar and feathered. But a restaurant it is, and one that my wife and I made our way to when she decided she was craving some bone marrow (insert innuendo here). Apparently the place has become quite popular because our only option was to take a seat at the bar, which was actually fine because it brought us closer to the blackboard.
Sometimes it’s hard to decide where to eat. Sure, I have a list of places, but they aren’t always in convenient locations. That’s when I turn to things like Groupon, because if I’m going out to eat somewhere I’m unfamiliar with, I’ll be damned if I pay full price. On this particular eve, I found a discount for an Italian place in West LA called Campagnola Trattoria.
When I think of Serbia, things like Darko Milicic and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It’s just about never that the mention of Serbia gives me thoughts of food, but a little place called Metro Diner (or Cafe) in Culver City might just change that for me. Metro Diner is situated at the bottom of a Travelodge, and judging it by its cover, it would appear to be a dilapidated old diner. But while the majority of the menu items are reminiscent of a diner, it has a touch of Serbian.
LA is a huge place and just when I think I know all I need to, it hits me with a surprise. Sometimes that surprise is unwanted, like closing a lane on the highway that I take to work every day. But more often, it is a pleasant surprise like Handy Market. This local market in Burbank has all the looks of any regular, old-fashioned grocer, but if you head to the back, that all changes. Back there is one of LA’s best-kept secrets, a meaty sandwich lover’s dream.
But first, I want to say that this place reminded me on many levels of another meat paradise called Superior Meats in Wisconsin. Whether it was the grill out front that supposedly is used in full force over the weekends, the friendliness of the staff, the selection of meats or the prices, I kept seeing signs of Wisconsin and the simpler life everywhere I turned.
Long before there was a Disney movie called Pinocchio, there was a classic Italian story featuring that classic wooden toy. Pinocchio’s (no relation) in Burbank is much more about those Italian roots than it is about the Disney story. And although that Disney classic has stood the test of time, there is one thing it certainly cannot do – feed you. That’s where Pinocchio’s comes in.